FastLynx LapPack. (software) (Evaluation)
by Eddie Huffman
If you saw double features as a kid, you probably wouldn't have minded skipping one of the movies some of the time. If you bought sampler packs of cereal in single-serving boxes, probably only two or three were kinds you really liked. This all brings us to Fast-Lynx LapPack, "the complete software system for the laptop computer."
Packaged in a box large enough to hold a football, FastLunx LapPack offers ten software packages for a suggested price of $299.95, which the Rupp Corporation claims would cost $1,049.00 if purchased separately. Is it a bargain in a big box, then, or an overabundant bundle?
To begin with, it's hard to consider something with no word processor, spreadsheet, or full communications program "a complete software system."
On the other hand, FastLynx LapPack's ten programs generally work well, providing a variety of functions--though some are more useful than others.
The package includes The Maximizer, a contact management program for business professionals; FastLynx, which allows easy transfer of information between desktop and laptop computers; and Mergelt! Phonelist, a well-designed phone-number-and-address database. You also get FastLock, which provides hard drive security by requiring a password to boot up, and EZC Smart Cursor, which (drum roll, please) allows you to change the shape of your cursor!
Obviously, some of FastLynx LapPack's programs are more valuable than others, and no bundle--even a package with this many programs--can possibly please all users.
For instance, The Maximizer would probably interest a business user who must keep in close contact with clients (besides an appointment calendar and stripped-down ledger function, it includes ready-made letters to be mailed for birthdays and anniversaries), but it would be of little use to just about anyone else.
The enclosed CompuServe starter kit will prove valuable to a telecommunications newcomer, but for someone already using CompuServe or someone without a modem, this part of the package isn't of much use.
Most of the FastLynx Lap-Pack programs are easy to install, easy to learn, and quite efficient, however. Both CO/Session, which lets one PC control another via modem, and the previously mentioned FastLynx program make it easy for your laptop to interact with your desktop computer, and Switch-It allows for quick entrances and exits between programs--much like going back and forth between windows in a word processing program.
SitBack backs up your files automatically, and FastJuice provides the often indispensable service of monitoring your laptop's battery charge. Just weigh your needs before letting FastLynx Lap-Pack substitute for careful software shopping.
So is FastLynx LapPack a ten-pack of your favorite Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs or a disappointing medley of Bombs, Nutty Berries, and Nothing but Bran? Probably the medley, but maybe a boxful of favorites if you're lucky. Check the ingredients first. Then purchase with care.